2022 Tillman Scholar
Dr. Lior Vered is a scientist, policy consultant, and mental health advocate. Dr. Vered was born and raised in Israel in a military family. She volunteered in several community service organizations working for women’s issues, racial equity, and the environment. She founded two community projects – one to combat burnout and trauma in community organizations and the second to prevent and respond to sexual violence. Both projects have revolutionized community service work in Israel.
Dr. Vered graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in chemistry from Fayetteville State University and received her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Her dissertation research focused on studying the response of cells to environmental changes with a combination of experimental and computational techniques. After graduating, Dr. Vered worked as a policy advocate and consultant for environmental organizations. She led several state and national coalitions promoting sensible and equitable solutions to environmental challenges faced by our nation.
After her veteran husband lost the battle with post-traumatic stress, Dr. Vered vowed to dedicate her life to ending veteran suicide. She founded Heart Redeployment, a community mutual-aid project fostering protective relationships and community support to combat mental health challenges in the veteran community. She is also pursuing her master of social work at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, where she researches resiliency and protective relationships among active-duty military battling mental health challenges. Additionally, Dr. Vered is a public speaker on mental health and suicide prevention.